08.03.2005 Health

Many are accessing health facilities in Volta Region

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Ho, March 8, GNA - Many people are making use of health facilities in the Volta Region as it nears the attainment of the national target of 0.5 per capita Out-Patient Department (OPD) attendances.

From a total attendance of 666,418 (0.38 per capita) in 2003 the Region in 2004 clocked 0.41 per capita attendances of 725,647.

Dr Andrew A. Arde-Acquah, Volta Regional Director of Health announced this at the 2004 Annual Performance Review Conference of the Health Sector in the Region under the theme: "Better Health Through Improved Access And Quality Of Health Care".

Dr Arde-Acquah explained to the Ghana News Agency that this could mean that more people were falling ill in the Region; that the capacity of hospitals and other health facilities had increased; that people were getting increasingly aware of the need to seek orthodox medical treatment for their ailments and or that the preventive health needed greater attention.

He said admissions at health facilities in the region from 2000 to 2004 had also increased from 45,999 to 68,144, which meant that preventive health problems such as hypertension, heart diseases and diabetes might have appreciated in the Region.

Dr Arde-Acquah said the increased admissions also indicated increases in deliveries, bed facilities, surgical cases, demand, utilisation and better provision of services.

He said malaria accounted for 31.0 percent of hospital admissions in the Region and the leading killer in the last three years.

"Malaria, acute respiratory infection, skin diseases and ulcers, hypertension and diarrhoea, intestinal worms and anaemia continue to top the list of the causes of out-patient reporting", Dr Arde-Acquah said.

The major causes of in-patient diseases apart from malaria were gastroenteritis- 4.5 per cent, road traffic accident- 4.0 per cent, hypertension-3.8 per cent and anaemia -2.0 per cent.

The major killer ailments in the Region apart from malaria are stroke, heart failure and anaemia, Dr Arde-Acquah said.

He said the antenatal and post-natal care coverage in the Region was decreasing and many children were being born with low birth weight.

Dr Arde-Acquah said he was optimistic that with the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS) and suggestions from the review conference "we hope to improve the health indicators greatly".

The Volta Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Dzamesi commended the Regional Health Directorate for the initiatives it had taken to attract more health professionals such as doctors and nurses into the Region.

He pledged the Government's commitment to providing funds to complete the construction of the permanent building for the training of more nurses and allied health personnel in the Region.

Mr Dzamesi reminded the conference of the Public Procurement Act; the Financial Administration and the Internal Audit Agency Acts of 2003 and their implications for accountability.

Dr George Mawusi Afeti, Principal of Ho Polytechnic, who presided urged the Regional Health Directorate to pay attention to how it apportioned resources among preventive and primary health, curative health and for "going around the job".

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